Thursday, December 27, 2012

Not as cool as I'd thought...

So, a month ago, I saw bags of heirloom carrots in the grocery store...you know, the ones that come in colours other than the normal orange?  I thought it would be awesome to dehydrate them and add them to the kid's ramen noodles along with dried corn, celery etc.  This way at least there's some vegetables in the meal,  plus, I love the purple carrots.

In theory, a cool idea...but when you rehydrate them, some of the colour comes out of the purple pieces and turns everything you cook with them a gross blue-grey colour.  It doesn't change the taste or anything, but ramen ends up looking like zombie brains or something.  Ugh.  Lesson learned.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Three Sister's Soup

I apologize for not posting this sooner.  I've had a few days of internet issues, and the hamster escaped...in my office.  The whole room got torn apart as we chased him down, so until I got it all reorganized, I couldn't get to the computer.  I still have a narrow path through boxes, it's sort of a treacherous journey getting over here, but since all the kids' unwrapped Christmas presents are hidden under my desk, I couldn't let anyone else help.

Anyway, I did try this recipe from The Complete Trail Food Cookbook and it was alright.  I think I'd go a little lighter on the thyme and add a tsp of vegetable soup base  (without any MSG) and see how it works.

My only issue with it is that it tells you to let the ingredients soak for 20 minutes then simmer for another 10-15.  I'd like to try it with a cosy (when I make one) and see if it works that way simply for fuel conservation.

THREE SISTER'S SOUP

2 tbsp dried corn kernels
2 tbsp dried green bean pieces
2 tbsp dried winter squash pieces
1 tbsp dried potato slices, crumbled
2 tsp dried onion pieces
2 tsp dried celery slices
1/2 tsp dried parsley, crumbled
1/4 tsp dried minced garlic
1/4 tsp crumbled dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper

2 cups water

Soak the ingredients in the water for 20 minutes than bring to a boil and simmer 10-15 minutes.  The book says once you mix the ingredients, they only have a shelf life of a month (I imagine freezing them would give you more time.)

For anyone who's interested, the dried ingredients weighed 1.1 oz and fit easily into a snack size zip top bag.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

What experiments to try next

I've been busy drying ingredients so I can try out a few of the recipes from The Complete Trail food Cookbook and have finally managed to get a good basic assortment of dried vegetables.  My goal today is to try making Three Sister's Soup.  I'll post later with my thoughts on how it worked out.

I've also been busy browsing my recipe books in search of meals that can be adapted for camping, whether that be something with minimal prep for car camping, or something that can be dehydrated and taken canoe camping or backpacking.

The first step will be to try the recipe as is, at home, and see how it passes the kiddy test.  If that goes well (and I don't get my hopes up...you may have noticed Bubbie is a bit picky) then I'll break it down and see if its better to make the recipe as a whole and dry it, or dry the ingredients individually.  I haven't really gotten to this part yet, which really depresses me.  I'm starting to think I never will.  So far I've tried three recipes that looked like they had a lot of potential for camp food.  One would have been awesome in the dutch oven, and the other two I'm pretty sure could have been modified for backpacking.  As always, three out of the four of us liked it, and one merely nibbled a bite smaller than a mouse would eat and pushed it away.  Something tells me she'll be eating a lot of instant rice and spaghetti on camping trips.

On the other hand, last year on our Mew Lake trip, she ate things I didn't think she'd eat, and not only ate them, but went back for seconds and thirds.  I don't know if the trick is to only let her try things at camp, or if that was a fluke.  I know there's that magic "all food tastes awesome at camp" phenomena....hmmm

Anyway, lots of drying going on here, and there should be some good experiments over the next few days.  One recipe I want to try modifying this week is called Caribbean potato and kidney bean curry.  The picture looked good anyway...but then they always do, don't they?